Mary Huntsberry


Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Psychology 2000 to 2004 James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Master of Arts in Psychology: Animal Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience 2004 to 2006 American University, Washington, DC


Animal Assisted Therapy Certification, National Capital Therapy Dogs, April 2022

Elite Fear Free Certified Professional, Dec 2017 to present

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club, April 2014 to present

Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB) by the Animal Behavior Society, Dec. 31st, 2009 to present

Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (RLAT) by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, April 2011

Animal Assisted Therapy Certification, Winchester Medical Center, Fall 2003 - 2007

Invited Talks

Williams, N., & Huntsberry, M.E. (2009, February). The team approach to difficult cases involving rescue dogs: The Michael Vick fighting dogs. Talk given at the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior meeting, Tucson, AZ.

Williams, N., & Huntsberry, M.E. (2010, July). Aggression: Innovative Techniques for a Difficult Problem. Talk given at the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior meeting, Williamsburg, VA.

Huntsberry, M.E. (2012, October). Understanding Canine Behavior, Learning, and Aggression. Talk given at the Potomac Valley Standard Schnauzer Club meeting, McLean, VA.

Huntsberry, M., Lockhart, J., Moon-Fanelli, A., & Williams, N. (2014, December). Rants and Raves — What Irritates Us, What Excites Us. Online CAAB Chat.

Borchelt, P.L. & Huntsberry, M.E. (2015, February). Most of the Good Stuff is Outside of the Quadrant. Talk given at the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior meeting, Fort Worth, TX.

Huntsberry, M. & LeBlanc, C. (2015, September). Puppy Classes — Getting From Good To Great and Avoiding The Bad. Online CAAB Chat.

Huntsberry, M (2015, October). Canine Body Postures: Origins, Meaning, and the Facts on Dominance. Talk given for the New Carrollton Police Department of Maryland.

Related Employment

Animal Behavior Consultant & Owner

Helping Pets Behave Oct 2011 to present Gaithersburg, MD

Conduct in-home consults on behavior modification for problem behaviors commonly seen in pet dogs and cats. Collaborate with various behaviorists across the country in addition to my clients' veterinarian to accurately assess and address a behavior problem. Teach group and private training and behavior classes including a variety of puppy courses, animal assisted therapy, tricks, and special behavior topics.

Animal Behaviorist & Trainer

Nancy Williams, Dogs With Issues Apr 2008 to Jan 2011 Manchester, MD

I have observed and participated in treatment of 1,000+ dog and cat behavior cases with Nancy Williams since April, 2008. Seventy percent of the cases deal with aggression. The remaining cases deal with behavior wellness, elimination issues, barking, phobia, and repetitive behavior.


Bark Meow Oct 2014 to Dec 2015

Bark Meow is a sophisticated brand for the modern lifestyle of today's pets and pet owners. From inspiring and heartwarming stories to products and services, Bark Meow is the place to get information to improve the life of your pet. I play my part in educating owners by answering reader questions about their pet's behavior in the Ask the Behaviorist column.

Animal Behavior Consultant

Howard County Department of Social Services May 2014 to Dec 2015 Columbia, MD

On retainer to evaluate prospective families with pets in the process of adopting a child.

Animal Behavior Consultant

Animal Behavior Associates Nov 2011 to Nov 2012

Consult on educational aids for pet owners and professionals.

Animal Behavior Consultant

Anti-Cruelty Behavior Unit, ASPCA Oct 2011

Assisted with the ASPCA's deployment to a puppy mill raid.

Animal Behaviorist & Veterinary Technician

National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology (SoBran, Inc) Jun 2009 to Oct 2011 Poolesville, MD

Developed a study investigating sarcopenia, age-related muscle loss, modeled in squirrel monkeys. Conducted behavioral and physiological research on rhesus macaques for a calorie restriction study. Tasks included shaping monkeys to retrieve a food item from a monkey Motor Activation Panel, performing cognitive tasks on a touch-sensitive computer monitor, and measuring activity level. Veterinary procedures included physical examinations, dentals, and collecting whole blood and serum for analysis.

Animal Behaviorist

National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterinary Resources (SoBran, Inc) Aug 2007 to Jun 2009 Bethesda & Poolesville, MD

Managed the canine behavior program. Primary responsibilities included performing entrance and annual assessments, developing enrichment plans, pair housing dogs, conducting weekly trainings with caretakers and vet staff, and writing standard operating procedures for handling dogs. Created individualized behavior treatment plans for dogs and monkeys exhibiting abnormal behavior. Clicker trained pigs to safely enter and exit a sling for veterinary maintenance procedures. Pair-housed rabbits and monkeys.

Research Fellow

National Institues of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Laboratory of Comparative Ethology Jul 2006 to Aug 2007 Poolesville, MD

Worked with a variety of nonhuman primates on various behavior oriented studies. Interactions included cognitive testing and behavioral observation and assessment. Assisted in studies on mirror self recognition and behavioral economics with capuchin monkeys that involved shaping the monkeys to touch targets and exchange tokens. Completed research investigating the selective-value effect, loss aversion, inferential reasoning, and face recognition in capuchins and infant rhesus macaques. Conducted ethological research investigating the effects of introducing 2 unfamiliar males to a stable troop of 19 capuchin monkeys.

Research Assistant

American University Laboratory of Learning and Behavior Sep 2004 to Jul 2006 Washington, DC

Worked on several studies using the principles of conditioning and learning to train rats to lever press for various primary reinforcers. Master's thesis: “Attentional Processing in Pigeons: A Test of Composite-Stimulus Control.” An experimentally designed study that involved training pigeons to peck a touch-sensitive computer monitor.

Media Mentions

Dealing with pet antics when you're working from home Bethesda Magazine

Keep Calm and Wag On Montgomery Magazine

Does Your Dog Need Therapy? Hartford Courant

When dogs need therapy Washington Post

Finding a dog trainer Washington Post

Dog Speak: The Sounds of Dogs The Wildest / BARK

Follow the Leader Bethesda Magazine

Introducing a New Cat to Your Home Safe Bee

The Right Way to Walk Your Dog Safe Bee

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me? PAWCULTURE

Therapy can help your dog over come stress, fears Columbia Daily Tribune

Oh, Behave! Your mischievous pet may just have a lot on its mind Zag Magazine

Left Behind: Parents aren't the only ones who get sad when kids go off to college Bethesda Magazine

How Do No-Pull Dog Harnesses Work? PetMD



Roma. P. G., Huntsberry, M. E., & Riley. A. L. (2007). Separation stress, litter size, and the rewarding effects of low-dose morphine in the dams of maternally separated rats. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 31(2), 429-33.

Roma, P. G., Silberberg, A., Huntsberry, M. E., Christensen, C. J., Ruggiero, A. M., & Suomi, S. J. (2007). Mark tests for mirror self-recognition in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) Trained to Touch Marks. American Journal of Primatology, 69, 1-12.

Huntsberry, M. E., Charles, D., Adams, K. M., & Weed, J. L. (2008). A quick and easy enrichment device for pigs (Sus scrofa) at the national institutes of health. Lab Animal, 37(9), 411-4.

Huntsberry, M. E., Charles, D., & Weed, J. L. (2008). Canines and pool side fun at the national institutes of health. Tech Talk, 13(2), 4.

Silberberg, A., Roma, P. G., Huntsberry, M. E., Warren-Boulton, F. R., Sakagami, T., Ruggiero, A. M., & Suomi, S. J. (2008). On loss aversion in capuchin monkeys. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 89, 145-155.

Paukner, A., Huntsberry, M. E., & Suomi, S. J. (2009). Tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) spontaneously use visual, but not acoustic information to find hidden food items. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 123(1), 26-33.

Paukner, A., Huntsberry, M. E., & Suomi, S. J. (2010). Visual discrimination of male and female faces in infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Developmental Psychobiology, 52, 54-61.

Poster Presentations

Huntsberry, M. E., Serdikoff, S. L., & Cover K. (2004, May). An experimental analysis of tertiary conditioned reinforcement as applied in various animal training practices. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis:International, Boston, MA.

Huntsberry, M. E., & Weiss, S. J. (2005, March). An investigation of intradimensional composite-stimulus control: Compounding single modality stimuli with pigeons. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Virginia Association for Behavior Analysis, Harrisonburg, VA.

Huntsberry, M. E., & Weiss, S. J. (2006, March). Color Dominance Revealed in the Pigeon through Intra-dimensional Stimulus Compounding. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore, MD.

Huntsberry, M. E., Ruggiero, A. M., Christensen, C. J., Roma. P. G., Silberberg, A., & Suomi, S. J. (2006, August). Operant Conditioning Fails to Facilitate Mirror Self-Recognition in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella). Poster presented at the 30th meeting of the American Society of Primatologists, Winston-Salem, NC.

Paukner, A., Huntsberry, M. E., Ferrari, P. F., & Suomi, S. J. (2008, June). Imitation Recognition in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella). Poster presented at the 31st meeting of the American Society of Primatologists, West Palm Beach, FL.

Huntsberry, M. E., & Weed, J. L. (2008, November). Enhancements to the Canine Socialization and Training Program at the National Institutes of Health. Poster presented at the 59th AALAS National meeting, Indianapolis, IN.

Paukner, A., Huntsberry, M.E., & Suomi, S. J. (2009, September). Visual Discrimination of Male and Female Faces by Infant Rhesus Macaques. Poster presented at the 32nd meeting of the American Society of Primatologists, San Diego, CA.

Huntsberry, M.E., Young, J., Beasley, M., & Mattison, J. (2010, July). Effect of calorie restriction on fine motor performance in rhesus monkeys. Poster presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, Williamsburg, VA.

Huntsberry, M. E., Nudo, R. J., McNeal, D., Mercken, E., deCabo, R., & Mattison, J. A. (2011, August). Modeling and Measuring Sarcopenia in Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Poster presented at the 37th Annual National Capital Area Branch Regional AALAS Seminar, National Harbor, MD.

Huntsberry, M (2019, July). A behavior modification plan to reduce and eliminate aggressive behavior towards a poorly introduced cat: a case study. Poster presented at the 56th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society, Chicago, IL.

Huntsberry, M. (2023, July). Socialization: What REALLY is it and how can it be done effectively? Poster presented at the 60th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society, Portland, OR.

Volunteer Experience


Winchester Medical Center Animal Assisted Therapy Program Aug 2001 to Aug 2007 Winchester, VA

Participated in 2 years of extensive dog training for the Animal Assisted Therapy program at Winchester Medical Center. After becoming certified I began visiting hospitalized patients and volunteered as an assistant trainer working individually with class members during each session. Currently continue training my dogs for obedience and agility competitions as well as herding and animal assisted therapy.


Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Member since Fall, 2012

Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Member since Fall, 2011

Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Student Member since Summer 2005

CoreCAAB Member since Fall, 2009

Mary Huntsberry, MA

Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Elite Fear Free Certified Professional
Montgomery County, MD

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